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Pickup-Mounted Calf Catcher
Don Karst enjoys cow-free calf catching with his pickup-mounted catcher. His homemade catcher lets him catch spry calves. Best of all, he can handle young calves without concern for a mad mama.
  “I just drive alongside the calf and open my door to box it in,” says Karst. “Sometimes the calf doesn’t even stand up.”
  The catcher consists of 3 plywood panels mounted to a frame made from 1 1/2-in. pipe. Two of the panels make the first and second sides of the catcher. The pickup box makes the third side of the catcher, and the door is the fourth. A last panel mounted to the catcher at an angle and opposite the door helps to direct standing or moving calves into the catcher.
  The rear panel is about 3 1/2 ft. wide and about 30 in. high with a 10 to 12-in. strip of rubber belting attached to the bottom. The side panel is about 5 ft. long and 30 in. high, also with rubber belting at the bottom.
  “The belting is about 6 in. off the ground and stiff enough to keep the calf in, but lets me drive over stones and other obstacles without busting up the catcher,” says Karst.
  The catcher is secured to the truck by a pipe that extends from the rear panel’s top frame member. Clamps attach to the top of the pickup box to hold the pipe in place. A 1 by 2-in. piece of channel iron runs at an angle across the top of the 2 panels and the rear top of the pickup box’s near side. It is spot welded to the pipes and bolted to the pickup box.
  “The channel iron reinforces the catcher’s sides and prevents the catcher from tipping up or down if the pipe clamps were to loosen,” explains Karst.
  A lever mounted to front of the side panel pivots to ensure the pickup door stays in place once opened. As he steps out of the cab, he pulls the lever down to lock the door open.
  “I don’t have to worry about a cow pushing it shut behind me when I’m working with her calf,” says Karst. “I’ve had a catcher mounted to my truck for about 4 or 5 years, and my son has one on his truck too.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Donald Karst, 15150 311 Ave., Hoven, S. Dak. 57450 (ph 605 765-2155 or 605 765-4282).

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2015 - Volume #39, Issue #3